Ceann Comahirle Séan Ó Fearghaíl with National Bravery Award winners (L-R) Garda Mark Holden, Garda John Hennessy, Garda J.P O'Sullivan and Garda Alan Hayes.
Four Clonmel gardai were awarded national bravery awards today for their life saving heroics when they rescued a woman from a blazing car.
At approximately 7p.m. on 13th July, 2012, Clonmel Gardaí were alerted to a single vehicle road traffic collision on the main Clonmel to Fethard Road at Rathronan outside Clonmel.
Garda Mark Holden and Garda J.P. O’Sullivan who were in the Clonmel Patrol Car and Garda John Hennessy and Garda Alan Hayes in the District Patrol Van immediately proceeded to the scene. On arrival, they observed that a single vehicle had collided (side impact) with a tree.
The sole occupant was trapped in the vehicle and the petrol tank on the vehicle had caught fire. A large crowd had gathered and were attempting to put the fire out with water and fire extinguishers. The attending Gardaí took command of the incident and made valiant efforts to free the trapped driver. The aforementioned Gardaí entered the vehicle while it was ablaze, the fire now coming from the front of the vehicle.
The fire was brought under control by the Gardaí. At this point, efforts were made to tow the vehicle away from the tree in order to free the driver. Unfortunately, such was the extent of the impact of the vehicle with the tree that the door could not be prised open. A number of vehicles from Clonmel and Cahir Fire Departments attended the scene. Fire Brigade personnel managed to cut the vehicle and free the driver from the vehicle. On being removed from the vehicle she was unresponsive. She was then conveyed to South Tipperary General Hospital where she made a recovery.
Garda Alan Hayes, Garda John Hennessy, Garda Mark Holden and Garda J.P. O’Sullivan were each awarded a Bronze Medal and Certificate of Bravery by Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail in Farmleigh House in Dublin earlier today.